Numark Party Mix Live Review – The best entry-level controller to date?
The brand new Numark Party Mix MKII and Party mix are here! As one of the best selling entry-level DJ controllers on the market, this new model has big shoes to fill. Especially given the stiff competition at this price point from Pioneer DJ, Hercules and Reloop. With inbuilt lights and even speakers on the Live model, is this still the best entry-level controller on the market? In this review, we will take a closer look to find out!
- Built for use with Serato DJ Lite, Algoriddim DJay AI, Virtual DJ, DJ Player PRO (Serato DJ Pro compatible)
- Access to streaming services (Tidal, Beatport Link, BeatSource Link, Soundcloud GO+)
- Mac, PC and iOS compatible (iPhone + iPad)
- Built-in speakers and lights
Measuring just 26cm tall and 31cm wide, the Numark Party Mix Live is a small, lightweight controller that is undoubtedly backpack friendly. Standing on four rubber feet, the controller absorbs vibrations and input knocks very well. Feeling reassuringly sturdy for a controller of this price, the elevated Party Mix is also safer from sitting in spilt drinks with no vents or openings on its base.
The controller features a new fresh look, sharing the new jog wheel design from the larger Mixtrack FX models, complete with a needle position line. The faders and knobs also feel great, with a subtle matte black finish throughout. Using the same hard, clicky buttons from the previous generation, the Party Mix features four performance pads. Though the “pads” are hard plastic buttons, they feel reassuringly strong and chunky. Perfect for younger users and heavy-handed DJ’s alike.
In-Built Speakers and Lights
Both the Party Mix II and Party Mix Live feature three inbuilt RGB LED’s complete with diffusing lenses. The inbuilt disco lights can be switched between software and fixed-time modes. Serato DJ Lite has three user-selectable modes for the lights, changed in the preferences. Following the Serato controlled mode is a BPM mode, with the lights flashing in time to the playing song. Finally, the user can select between a static on and all lights off mode. Although very cool, these lights aren’t bright enough to fill a room dark room, so don’t expect too much.
Unique to the Party Mix Live model, two inbuilt speakers allow the DJ to hear their set direct from the controller itself. Powered by an external power brick, the speakers are a real surprise addition. The stereo speakers can be switched on or off via a dedicated slide switch on the side. The speaker’s volume controlled by the main gain control found on the mixer.
These can be used in conjunction with the laptop’s speakers or external speakers connected to the master out port. Comparable to the volume you can achieve with a modern MacBook (which is very impressive in its own right), these speakers won’t blow the user away. That said, they are certainly better quality than most phone speakers. Ideal for those on the move or looking for an all in one package to start on!
Both controllers use the smaller 1/8th inch TRRS connection to connect headphones, allowing users to use practically any headphone or earbuds. Numark has decided to replace the RCA master out connection with another 1/8 inch TRRS on this new generation of Party Mix controllers. Usually, this is classed as a downgrade. However, given that most beginners will most likely have speakers featuring AUX-in ports, we fully support this change. It’s great to see Numark include the cable to connect the decks to these speakers too!
We’re pleased to announce that the fixed USB cable from the previous generation is now gone. Replaced with a new removable USB-A to USB-B cable. A very worthy upgrade meaning the whole controller isn’t useless should the cable break or become damaged.
The supplied USB cable powers the Party Mix MKII. The Live model relies on an external power brick due to the power required for the speakers. However, it is a shame that the Party Mix Live can’t be used without the power brick, even when the speakers are off. As expected, with most controllers at this price point, there are no microphone or auxiliary inputs.
The Numark Party Mix Live features a traditional club-style layout with individual decks and mixer. Each deck features a touch-sensitive jog wheel with a dedicated needle position line. The pitch faders are smaller units, with no notch to let the user know when the fader is centred.
The four performance pads feature hot cue, auto loop, sampler and effects mode. Dedicate pad mode lights indicate which mode the user is currently using.
The pad select mode also doubles as a shift button, allowing DJ’s to delete hot cues from the controller itself. Loop mode allows the user to quickly activate an auto loop, from one beat in length up to eight. The sampler will trigger the first four sound effects loaded into the sample bank. Finally, the effect mode temporarily applies the software effects whilst being held down. Controlling three sample banks, the fourth pad button allows the DJ to change the length of each effect.
The mixer features a large browse control with dedicated load buttons for each deck. Each channel features a two-band EQ with dedicated trim and filter controls. The headphone cue can be selected via the dedicated buttons and adjusted via the volume control. Finally, the crossfader and up faders feature plenty of travel and feel superb, their curves adjustable in the DJ software settings.
The Numark Party Mix Live is a superb beginners controller that excels, given its low price point. At just £124.99, this is a superb choice for those looking to get started in the world of DJ’ing without breaking the bank. The ability to use the controller with an iPhone or iPad using Algoriddim Djay is perfect for the next generation of DJ’s. Streaming songs over the internet and using the inbuilt speakers, the Party Mix live offers much more than its rival controllers that compromise either audio connections or physical size.
We’re pleasantly surprised with the build quality of the new Party Mix controllers. The smart new look removes the cheap feel of previous generations. The Live model’s speakers are a great addition for those with poor laptop speakers or using a phone/tablet. Just don’t expect these speakers to power a house party or fill a room with sound! The MKII model is packed with all the same great features for those not needing the speakers and feels even better value for money at just £89.99.
Overall, the Numark Party Mix is a superb choice for a first deck! Kids and adults alike will benefit from its sturdy construction, great software compatibility and portable size!
Video Review & Guide
Numark Party Mix DJ Lessons
Learn how to get started with your new Numark Party Mix controller in our dedicated guide here!
To learn more about how to DJ with Serato, here are our best selling courses!